Water treatment plants are finding out that cutting costs isn’t always the right path to saving money. Cutting costs should always be directed toward efficient solutions, not just cheaper ones. An efficient water treatment solution can sometimes be cheaper, especially in the long run. Operation and maintenance costs add up, and an efficient solution can save more money than a less reliable “cost cutting” one.
The key is to combine cost and efficiency. While you shouldn’t always select a “cost cutting” measure just to select it, it’s also unrealistic to expect municipalities can afford the most expensive, perfect solution. This requires a bit of ingenuity when creating bespoke solutions. After all, every municipality has slightly different requirements, regulations, priorities, and budgetary constraints.
A water treatment plant in the Arizona desert has a few different priorities than one in rain Oregon, for instance.
Water Treatment Budget Constraints
When Komax helped the Val Vista Water Treatment Plant in Arizona, we were faced with the need to fix a high efficiency mixing solution in an eight-foot square channel. The solution was $30,000, within a tight water treatment budget constraint. Now, the plant also looked at other companies. They looked at mechanical mixers, but the cost was too high. They looked at baffle-type motionless mixers, but the head loss was considerable, and the cost would have ballooned to assemble one in a square configuration.
In other words, there were more expensive solutions that would have also increased maintenance costs over time. There were also less expensive solutions that created new, more expensive problems.
Our solution was a series of interlocking left- and right-hand mixing elements. Given the turbulence of incoming material, this produces vortices that rotate counter to each other, and at right angles to the water flow. This used the creation of elliptical vortices to back-mix chemicals (added through spargers at the head of the mixer) into the flow with an even distribution. Head loss was efficiently minimized through an elegant, bespoke, high efficiency mixing solution.
This is how water treatment plants can save money in the short- and long-term, while also increasing efficiency. It’s not about the cheapest solution, but it’s also not about the most expensive one. It’s about the water treatment solution that provides best fit. Don’t look at it as a cost you pay for a single solution. Look at it as as a cost you pay for a rate of efficiency. What’s the best model that marries your budgetary constraints to the efficiency you need. Bespoke solutions to these problems are often best, and Komax can provide many of them.